Abu Dhabi: The atmosphere was electric, alright. With thousand-volt lightning streaking across the sombre skies, a group of four took to the stage in their marching band outfits to sing about Violet Hill, with Eugene Delacroix’s symbolist painting: Liberty Leading the People, unfolding in the background, reports Xpress.
The heavy skies soon opened up pouring rain over the 15,000 fans who had come to see Coldplay in their first concert in the UAE on Saturday [March 28] at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.
The rain, the thunder and the lightning combined with the blue-green laser lights and humongous balloons wading through the air to create a surreal backdrop. On the last leg of their world tour to promote their fourth album Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends, Coldplay belted out hits such as Yellow, The Scientist, Fix You, Clocks and In My Place from their previous three albums, alongside other tracks like Green Eyes, Shiver and The Hardest Part.
From their latest album, the obvious favourite was cover song Viva La Vida with the crowds joining in the chorus as lead vocalist Chris Martin swaggered around the stage and across the protruding ramp which divided the VIP stands into two, bringing Coldplay closer to fans who were at the back. Martin couldn’t help joking about seeing rain in a ‘desert country’.
Coldplay also showcased new tracks such as Lost, 42 and Lovers of Japan, which was played against a rolled-down backdrop video of Japan. As the crowd began applauding, Martin sprung out a Wagasa (a Japanese parasol) and broke into a frenzied dance before the crowds were showered with thousands of little paper butterflies; just like in the video.
Sixteen year old Samar who was having the time of his life, said, “We felt like we were floating in the air while listening to them. Coldplay makes you forget about all your problems; they take you into another world…”
An old-school wooden-framed television placed next to the piano on stage was beaming live images from the concert and clips from their music videos. As the rains died down and a cool wind wafted over the concert-venue, Coldplay mimicked the weather with their romantic guitar riffs and vibrating drum sounds. The musicians constantly interacted with their fans and also went on to say that the Abu Dhabi crowd ranked as their number one to date. A lucky birthday girl got to go on stage and join Martin on the keyboards for a solo performance of the song ‘The Hardest Part’
Since Earth Hour 2009 also coincided with their concert, the band who are known to be environmentally-friendly, requested the organisers to switch off all lights in the arena for five minutes to commemorate the event. A multitude of cellphone lights lit up the arena, the musicians went on to do a cover of Neil Diamond’s I’m a Believer. Scott Hallsworth, a British expatriate, who had braved the rains with his wife and infant baby in a stroller, to watch the band perform, said, “I’ve attended Coldplay’s concert in London, but this one was much better than that. Coldplay is famous for their brilliant stage productions and they stayed true to form. The weather did not bother us; it actually complemented the atmosphere of the concert,” he said. Martin then joked about the early formation of the band, and made drummer and backing vocalist Will Champion perform, to prove that the band would not have been the same, had he been the lead vocalist – all in good humour.
As the curtains came down, the band bowed out in front of a roaring audience with a humble ‘Shukran’. However, the crowds were not in the mood to call it a night. As Coldplay retired backstage, the thousands of fans began to hum Viva La Vida – an unusual way to urge the band to come back on stage as compared to the usual ‘once more’. Despite a few minutes passing by and no sign of Coldplay, the crowds continued singing hoping that the band would come back on stage one last time.
And they did…........
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